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Wednesday, October 04 2023
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Kadri Manjunatha Temple: Kailasa for devotees of Lord Shiva

Marvellous Karnataka Raksha Deshpande 2
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Karnataka Coast is a land of God. Many temples are famous here. Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple is the jewel in the crown.

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Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple is located in Mangaluru. It is a spectacular Temple of Lord Manjunatha or Lord Shiva besides Kadri hills. The temple is a complete depiction of early Vijayanagara architecture dating back to 10th and 11th century AD.

The location of the temple is overwhelming with the presence of the deity of the temple, and the marvellous hillocks of the Kadri Hills, which has many caves cut into the hills. The caves contain many pre-historic pieces of evidence too which adds to the impeccable holy spirit of the valley. The overall location is extremely spiritual and calm. The temple belongs to the category of Tulunadu temples in the Dakshina Kannada region. Kadri Hills also has the biggest Natha Pantha (idolisation) in the South of India.

The name Kadri was derived from Kadari which meant plantain and Kadri is filled with plantain trees all over. In Buddhism, the word Kadarika meant a ridge side pasture land. The Kadri mountain has been mentioned in the earlier epigraphs which are dated back to A.D. 968 on the pedestal of the Lokeshwara idol installed in the Kadrika Vihara which was installed by the King Kundravarma of Alupa dynasty. Hence the inscriptions confirmed the former name of the Kadri thills was Kadarika.

Kadri was a centre fir Buddhism in the early 10th century. Later when Buddhism declined the Natha Pantha (a new religious belief) came into existence here. Natha Prantha was believed to be a modified form of religious beliefs obtained from the Vajrayana of the Mahayana section of Buddhism. Later the Natha Prantha was more of worshiping Lord Shiva as the deity. The followers were called Jogi and the monasteries were called Jogimatha by the localities.

The earliest settlements in Kadri were the Buddhists and the people of Natha Prantha. In the earliest epigraphs found in these places, Kadri was called Kadarika Vihara and Mangaluru as Mangalapura. In some inscriptions in the stone epigraphs, around 12-13th centuries, a King who ruled then declared to give away the land for the construction of the temple is mentioned in Kannada and Malayalam languages.

In the 12th century the magnificent temple was built in typical Hindu architectural style (Hindu Agama Shastra). Later it was rebuilt using granite stone in 14-15th century and the pancha loha idol of Lord Manjunatha was installed. The jogies being ardent devotees of Lord Shiva, worshipped Lord Manjunatha who is a form of Lord Shiva. The jogimatha has a cave called the Pandava caves and the Jogimatha is of great significance here. Many small temples have been installed in and around the Jogimatha which gives the place a holy appearance and ambience.

The temple has various statues of Gorakshanatha, Machendranaths, Shringinatha, Manjushri, Lokseshwara and even Buddha apart from Lord Manjunatha. Goddess Durga is worshipped on the West of the temple, Lord Ganesh in the North.

Udhbhava linga

Lord Manjunatha’s lingam is a naturally formed lingam. Annual Jathra Mahotsava festival is conducted in the month of January starting with the Makara Sankranthi and extends to 9 days from then. From the Kadri kambala ganada kottya house the Bhandara of Malaraya daiva along with the supplies of mass feeding (hasiru horey kanike) is ostentatiously paraded on that day. The major ceremonies include theertha snana in the morning and then followed by the Dhwajasthambha arohana in the evening and then Garuda arohana in the night. Kanchi Sthambha will be lighted on the night of seventh day.

Someshwar Temple, Ullal beach, Tannirbavi beach, and Mangaladevi Temple are the nearby places one can visit during Kadri Temple visit. Kadri can be visited throughout the year.

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Raksha Deshpande

The author is a postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. Her interests range from literature, history, travel to politics, and is keenly interested to write human interest stories and articles relating to literature, travel.

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